My Year with MoviePass: A Quiet Place Review

Tired of my normal movie watching process, which amounts to me spending an inordinate amount of time searching through Netflix, Hulu, or illegal streams searching for the perfect movie only to be interrupted by my constant pausing to do the dishes, or let the dog out, or look at memes on Instagram, I decided to embark on a year journey of returning to the physical cinema thanks to the company MoviePass.

MoviePass is a subscription service that allows you to attend one movie a day at any cinema across the USA. There are minor limitations and exceptions but for the most part the entire world of cinema is open to you all for $9.95 a month (or, if you got lucky like me, $6.95 a month due to a promotional price).

I decided to use this year to explore different movies and to chronicle my experience. Lucky for you that means my movie review game should increase heavily. Most of my reviews will be short and sweet. My rating system will be pretty simple and based on the premise of MoviePass. I will tell you whether or not I would recommend someone who is not a MoviePass user to go out and pay full price to see the film in theaters. Meaning this is more about the experience of how the film plays in the theater than it is a full recommendation of the film. I might love a film but admit there was  no reason for the theater experience. Or I might not enjoy a film but be blown away by visuals that you need to see on the big screen.

I will also chronicle how much money I am saving (or losing) with the MoviePass service. Thanks for reading and click the jump to read about my first official MoviePass film, A Quiet Place.

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Let’s Talk About The Last Jedi

Unless you live under a rock, or plain just don’t like movies, chances are you’ve seen the newest entry of the Star Wars saga by now. It’s been quite the divisive piece of entertainment and whether it knocked your pants off or made you so angry that you were mean to Rian Johnson on Twitter, there’s no question that it made an impact on you. It sure as hell made a huge one on Kevin and I.

But here’s the thing. If we had all come away from The Last Jedi with warm feelings of nostalgia in our tummies and then immediately went home and stopped talking about the movie, because it was more of the same of what we come to expect from Star Wars, then you would know that Disney had just churned out a giant cash grab and wasn’t interested in trying anything new. And that would suck, because part of what made Star Wars great in the first place was that it tried things that were new.

Instead, Disney trusted Johnson to create something bold and original, and we are still having discussions about it over a month after its release. And that’s how you know this is much more than just another movie. Instead, it’s a piece of art that challenges us to rethink what we think we know about some of our favorite stories and characters, and that’s something that we desperately need in an age of cookie cutter sequels and tired remakes.

So Kevin and I are going to keep that discussion going. Feel free to chime in if you wish.

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The Girl On The Train and The “Woman As A Villain” Problem

Just the other day I was thinking about the lack of fearful lady antagonists in films and television. Off the top of my head I could think of two females that scared the shit out of me. Annie Wilkes in the Stephen King adapted film Misery and Amy Dunne in the Gillian Flynn adapted film Gone Girl.

By mere coincidence, the strangeness of the absence of the psycho female role came up again as I sat down to watch another book adapted into a movie. This time it was The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.

This film engaged my attention all the way through. But the ending got me back to my original question. Why does Hollywood fear villainizing female characters?

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Let’s Talk About X-Men: Part 2

Alright peeps. Seeing as Logan is Hugh Jackman’s curtain call as Wolverine, it seemed like a good time to take a look back on the X-Men film series and talk about what we liked and didn’t like. These aren’t reviews, per say. We’re not going to rank these things or analyze the crap out of them. Instead, we’re just going to crack jokes and revel in the fact that Jackman has been playing this character for almost 20 years. That’s pretty damn amazing, whether you like the X-Men or not.

We already traveled back to the early 2000’s and discussed the groundbreaking start to the X-Men movie franchise covering X-Men, X-2, and The Last Stand right here. So make sure to check that out to find out which movie knocked Jesse’s pants off (he still hasn’t found them) and which movie we wish never existed at all (hint, it’s The Last Stand).

Next we are going to whip out our adamantium claws and slash our way into the Wonderful World of Wolverine.

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Let’s Talk About X-Men: Part 1

Alright peeps. Seeing as Logan is Hugh Jackman’s curtain call as Wolverine, it seemed like a good time to take a look back on the X-Men film series and talk about what we liked and didn’t like. These aren’t reviews, per say. We’re not going to rank these things or analyze the crap out of them. Instead, we’re just going to crack jokes and revel in the fact that Jackman has been playing this character for almost 20 years. That’s pretty damn amazing, whether you like the X-Men or not.

To kick things off, we’ll discuss all things concerning the original X-Men film trilogy, particularly whether or not Cyclops is as lame now as we thought he was back then (he is) and if these movies have stood the test of time. The first two? Yes. The third one? Well, we’ll get to that.

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Dr. Strange is Just Marvel Being Marvel

You ever know someone who seems to have everything work out for them? My buddy Nick is like that when it comes to fantasy football. He’s won our league the last two years and could very well come out on top again this season, but the surprise is no longer the fact that he’s successful. The rest of us are used to that, whether we like it or not. What really perplexes us is how he achieves that success. He’s drafted a team that has won a championship. He’s had one autodrafted for him that won a championship. Certain players will perform below expectations on our teams and then experience a career renaissance on his. If any of us try to emulate what he does in the hope of reaping similar rewards, it blows up in our face.

What I’m getting at is that Nick is the Marvel Studios of our fantasy league: he is untouchable and seemingly unstoppable.

Look no further than Dr. Strange, the latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that absolutely would not work anywhere else, and yet there it is making more money and garnering more acclaim for a studio that could go to the bathroom and poop out a successful film. Again, the surprising thing isn’t that a good Dr. Strange movie exists. It’s that it exists and none of us are shocked to see it happen.

(In case you were wondering, my fantasy team is more like the DC Cinematic Universe: it looks good on paper but no one else is ever impressed by it and it winds up tanking every year)

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The Sins of Suicide Squad

Kevin and I often discuss how spoiled we have become by comic book movies. When we were kids, Marvel films were basically non-existent and Batman was suffering through the dark days of Joel Schumacher. We could hardly even fathom a world where the Avengers teamed up on-screen, let alone returned for numerous sequels and solo outings. With Spider-Man back in the fold at Marvel and DC rapidly creating its own film universe, we are as pampered as ever and it shows.

Suicide Squad is not a terrible movie, even if that’s what most critics would have you believe. Nor is it a great one. This mashup of villains is a perfectly accessible experience and if it’s guilty of anything, it just doesn’t reach the bar that Marvel has set so high.

And I think that’s the biggest obstacle that DC has yet to overcome. Their films thus far have been enjoyable enough but are also flawed and divisive, which would have been fine 10 years ago. Now that the market has become so saturated by comic book adaptations and crossovers galore, anything that doesn’t live up to the Marvel standard gets torn to shreds. In my opinion, that’s what is happening here.

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